Were These Antique Devices Too Goofy to Catch On?

Illustration for article titled Were These Antique Devices Too Goofy to Catch On?

Strange, radical, and just plain ugly gadgets are commonplace today—and the same was the case a century ago. The Daily Mail shares a gallery of oddball devices that, for whatever reason, didn't survive the test of time.

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Illustration for article titled Were These Antique Devices Too Goofy to Catch On?

This envelope sealer, for example, perhaps failed to grab the public because it aimed to replace a human organ with complex machinery. Is the tongue really insufficient?

Illustration for article titled Were These Antique Devices Too Goofy to Catch On?

Electric flashlight glasses! Not a bad idea! Except having two lights shined directly into your eyes, and the risk of electrocution during rain.

Illustration for article titled Were These Antique Devices Too Goofy to Catch On?

Okay, now this—a mustache-guarding spoon that kept facial hair free from marauding food—isn't such a bad idea (Though as a hairy-faced dude, I am a bit biased). But the invention's utility was apparently not enough to keep it from fading into obscurity. Perhaps packing the kit for meals out was too much of a hassle (and a public embarrassment). [The Daily Mail]

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DISCUSSION

Actually, I used to sell envelope sealers and that machine appears to be simply a manual version of the electric ones that I sold. The basic design hasn't really changed all that much.

And yes, when you have to seal several thousand at a pop, the tongue is insufficient.

Besides, you do know that cockroaches like to eat the glue on envelopes, right? Think about that the next time you lick one.